Procurement for this contract was managed by the Student Loans Company (SLC). SLC, through its Disabled Students’ Stakeholder Group (DSSG), has important relationships with third sector bodies and advocacy groups in the education and disability sectors. SLC engaged with a number of organisations who support disabled students to gather their feedback and insights in developing quality standards for the new model, prior to the invitation to tender, which was published in July 2022. To support the new service design, SLC also established a DSSG Procurement sub-group consisting of DSSG members and other sector bodies to discuss how the new quality standards could be defined and measured at each stage of the customer journey. SLC also invited written contributions from members.
As this procurement was managed by SLC, the Department did not hold any discussions with disability groups on this matter prior to the contract being awarded.